Results 1-10of 12 Reviews
January 19, 2012
From journal Some attractions in Budapest I forgot to tell you about
New York, New York
March 30, 2011
From journal Old World Charm with a Modern Outlook
London, United Kingdom
May 24, 2009
From journal Kavehaz Kultura in Budapest
Townsville, Queensland, Australia
March 17, 2006
From journal The Buda in Budapest
by UK Flower Girl
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
March 5, 2006
From journal Delightful Budapest
Cinnaminson, New Jersey
February 4, 2005
In the 13th century, after the Mongolian invasion, the new city of Buda was built, along with the original Gothic church, which is covered with 14th-century frescoes inside. Matthias Church is really the Church of St. Mary. Matthias is the king who loved this church very much and gave it its tall stipple. In 1896, there was a 1,000-year celebration of Hungary, and the church was rebuilt in neo-Gothic style. Inside, the church was covered in Art Nouveau frescoes top to bottom in the style of the 14th-century originals, showing the most important events in the history of Hungary. This church was also the coronation church for the last Austrian emperors. In 1872, Austrian kings became Hungarian kings and united Budapest into one city and brought a rail network and industrialization to the country.
Matthias Church was severely damaged during both WWI and WWII. Between 1950 and 1970, the church was rebuilt from the ruins, but now the entrance fees are going to pay for a new restoration effort. Apparently, the building is made of limestone, and frescoes get damaged by water that gets absorbed into the stone, so the paint started to chip and crack and now requires serious restoration.
The church looks today as it did before WWII, with a tall tower of neo-Gothic lace and gargoyles high above the tiled roof. When you enter the church, you are absolutely stunned. It has very beautiful decor in the best traditions of flamboyant Gothic and Renaissance, with obvious Art Nouveau influence on the depiction of saints. Some features are neo-Romanesque, like the second floor columns and some of the rose windows. Neo-Gothic naives are covered with beautiful designs. Large stained glass windows are from the 19th century; they were removed and preserved during WWII and show life of the Virgin Mary and St Elizabeth. At the entrance is Matthias’ coat of arms dating back to 1470, which used to be on the outside of the church until 1893. Some of the columns still have original 13th-century figures. One of the frescoes shows how the pope came to help Hungarians in the 15th century to overtake the Turks. Upstairs there is a museum that exhibits monstrances, Madonna statues, crosses, gold jewelry, and a copy of the Holy Hungarian crown that has always been the symbol of the country, the crown of St. Stephen, the first king (the original is in the Parliament).
On the square in front of the church you can see a monument to King Matthias, and in the back of the church is another breathtaking site – Fishermen’s bastion, built in 1905 in the best traditions of neo-Romanesque style, with arches and column and seven pointed towers to symbolize the seven tribes of Hungary.
From journal Travels in Hungary - Budapest, Part I
June 22, 2004
From journal Roadtrip to Romania
July 14, 2003
In the thirteenth century Buda’s first parish church stood here. In the fourteenth century it was rebuilt as a Gothic hall church, but it was never finished and the north tower was not built. In Turkish times it became the main mosque and its interior furnishing were destroyed. During the 1686 siege, its tower and roof collapsed. Later, the church was rebuild in the Baroque style, and in the last decades of the nineteenth century, Frigyes Schulek reconstructed the church to its original 13th century plan, from the excavated medieval remains, the original Gothic church, the one in which Charles Robert (1308-1342) and Sigismund of Luxembourg (1387-1437) had been crowned, and in which King Matthias married Catherine Podebrad in 1463 and Beatrice of Aragon if 1470. By also adding new motifs of his own (such as the diamond pattern roof tiles and gargoyles laden spire) Schulek ensured that the work, when finished, would be highly controversial. Today however, Schulek's restoration provides visitors with one of the most prominent and characteristic features of Budapest's cityscape.
The last two kings of Hungary, Francis Joseph I and Charles IV, were also crowned in this church, in 1867 and 1916 respectively. During World War II the damage suffered by the church was so heavy that it took two decades to repair it.
From outside the most beautiful part of the church is the high stone-laced Gothic tower. The southern portal is decorated by a fourteenth- century relief depicting Virgin Mary's death. Inside, the plastered walls are painted with colored ornamental design. The frescoes depict the lives of Hungarian saints. In the northern part there is a series of chapels. In the one nearest to the altar contains the sarcophagi of Béla III (1173-1196) and his wife Anne of Châtillon.
In the medieval crypt visitors can view a museum of medieval carvings and other stonework. A collection of ecclesiastical art including old chalices, sacred relics and vestments as well as a replica of the crown of the Hungarian kings is on exhibit in the gallery.
From journal Budapest: Beyond Western Europe
May 1, 2002
Dating back to the 1200's, Matyas Templom has been host to a number of important historical events and has undergone quite a few changes over the years. A significant reconstruction occurred in 1896 resulting in much of its physical appearance today.
From journal Hungary: Return to Budapest
August 31, 2001
From journal Budapest: a Danube Gem